Sourav Ganguly becomes brand ambassador of 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup to be held in India
Former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly has been announced as the brand ambassador of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup to be held in India in the year 2017, NDTV reports. The move follows the appointment of the 43-year-old as social ambassador by beverage giants Coca-Cola, who are one of the main sponsors of the event.
Hailing from Kolkata, nicknamed 'The cradle of Indian football', Ganguly is a keen football enthusiast himself and was initially attracted to the game, before switching to cricket. He went on to become one of Indian cricket's all-time greats but resumed his ties with the beautiful game after his association with the Indian Super League.
Ganguly co-owns the Atletico de Kolkata franchise which won the inaugural edition of the ISL in 2014 and will now continue his ties with the game in a new avatar.
“Ganguly is on board and a part of the team that will lead our charge towards the FIFA Under-17 World Cup football 2017,” Coca-Cola India and South West Asia vice-president (marketing and commercial), Debabrata Mukherjee said, according to The Economic Times. “This could be a watershed event on the Indian football canvas.”
Football is in Sourav’s genes: Mukherjee
"Sourav is a cricketer by accident and footballer by gene. He identifies with our priorities around promoting physical activity and well-being," Mukherjee said, explaining the rationale behind selecting Ganguly as the brand’s face.
Ganguly has been signed on a three-year deal that runs until 2017 and will replace another former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar whose contract with the cola giants ended last year. While the Master Blaster reportedly 12 crores over the period of his deal, Ganguly will be earning less than that amount, reports ET.
Mukherjee also added that the former Indian skipper will be leading their company’s grassroots football activities and other social initiatives.
"Ganguly has also volunteered to be a part of the Coca-Cola Support My School movement - a programme that promotes the cause of healthy schools," he said.
Market experts react to Ganguly’s appointment
Marketing experts have reacted positively to Ganguly’s appointment by Coca-Cola as social ambassador saying that the decision makes a lot of sense.
"Sourav is on the IPL panel, he's a commentator, he's visible consistently, and he's on prime-time news. Brands want names that are visible and in the news. The move makes a lot of sense for Coca-Cola," said Shailendra Singh, joint managing director of entertainment and sports marketing firm, Percept.
Another official in the know-how of things said, "This deal should give Coca-Cola bigger clout in sports circles - mainly cricket and football. Sourav has a clean, consistent image."